November 19, 2008

it is about faith communities

There is an inherent plurality to the gospel lesson for this Sunday that I think is often missed when read through the lens of American Christianity. All the nations - not everybody - are brought before the King of kings, and the righteous - not the good people - respond to the praises offered by the King of kings.

It is impossible for any one person to be able to feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit the imprisoned. It is the job of the faith community to recognize the gifts of its members and give permission to the cooks to feed, the well-drillers to quench, the hospitable to welcome, the giver to clothe, the compassionate to care, and the courageous to visit.

And even that, I think, is too narrow. Because it doesn't mention that faith communities were gathered, but the righteous, or as we might say the Church - catholic - universal. Some communities will be better equipped to feed while others are strategically placed to visit. But above all, the Church universal, is called to do all these things, even to the least.

2 comments:

Scott Petersen said...

What is a good protestant like yourself mentioning the catholic nature of our church. Me thinks me hears a closet ecumenist in me midst!

spankey said...

Just to be clear, Scott, I did not mention the catholic nature of "our church" but "the Church." Our church is a small (and growing smaller) portion of that catholicity, but in and of itself lacks much, just as every other denomination, baptist association, and independent church lacks much.